Trinity IV

This Sunday’s Gospel comes from a long passage in Luke called “the Sermon on the Plain,” which is roughly equivalent to the “Sermon on the Mount” found in the St. Matthew’s Gospel. What should be immediately obvious to us is that Jesus spent much of His time in ethical teaching, instructing His disciples in a distinctive way of life. Christians are set apart, Jesus teaches us, not just in what we believe or how we worship, but by how we behave amongst ourselves.
We learn that the Christian life is outstanding for the quality of our relationships. Everything Jesus has to say here involves how we treat, and get along with, other people. Also, the moral principles of the Christian life are so utterly simple. Jesus does not speak of “gray areas,” or “ethical dilemmas.” When He speaks of being merciful, or not judging, or being generous, we have before us some very straight-forward material. No one can rightly say, “This is too hard for me to understand.”! We know only too well what Jesus means.
And yet… we can still get it wrong.  The passage “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged,” is often used as a bludgeon to try to silence Christians in public discourse… especially around discussions of societal morality.  In its proper context, Jesus does not forbid all judgment, but only destructive judgment. In John’s Gospel (7:24), Jesus said: "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment." In other words, let your judgment be according to what is right… what is true. He forbids self-righteous, self- exalting, hypocritical judging. This does not mean that we should sit by silently in matters of morality.  Yes, the world around us is a hot mess, and as mindful, well-grounded Christians, it is OK for us to speak out about a better way… a better path.  If we see spiritual harm being done in the World, we should speak up. This is all part of the process of moving away from suffering and towards mercy.  But the World has made this hard for us to do… we run the risk of being branded all manner of “ists” and “isms.” This risk of social condemnation is a form of suffering, and the pain of suffering is a crucible through which God’s Mercy makes itself known in the minds and hearts of us.  
The key here is that if we are going to speak out and be a witness, we must show ourselves to be on the path towards righteousness. This is the essence of human mercy.  To speak the Truth while at the same time being the best example of it. Every time a prominent Christian individual or organization stumbles, it only reinforces that narrative that we are all hypocrites and have no right to speak our Truth in public.  But the Spirit of Truth is ahead of us and the path is full of mindful, sober, self-awareness that reveals itself in healthy lives and healthy faith communities.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to enter into this situation, we move beyond mere mortal mercy, and into the grace of Divine Mercy.  May God make it so!
--Fr. Deacon Chris
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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Prayer for Independence Day
O ETERNAL God, through whose mighty power our fathers won their liberties of old; Grant, we beseech thee, that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Upcoming Events

Sunday Services, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, & 11:15 AM (for online participation for the services go to: )

Sunday School will return in September

Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing (for online participation, check info under Sunday Services)

Next Vestry meeting September

Annual Parish Picnic, Sunday October 8 at Fort Hunt Park, following a 10 AM combined service (no 9:00 AM or 11:15 AM services that day) , more details closer to event.

The list for MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center's needs has been updated this week.  The items in bold type are in critical need.  If you can, please purchase those items.
Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed In Bold and  * are a critical need.

Diapers (sizes newborn, 1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, & 6*)
Baby wipes*
Diaper rash ointment
Summer clothing: Newborn, 3-6 mo.,6-9 mo., 9-12 mo.,12-18 mo,, 18-24, 2T*
Baby shampoo
Baby blankets
Sleeping -- Pack-n-Play*
Formula: Simulac Advance Formula*
Formula: other but not recalled
Wash clothes
Hooded towels
Grocery gift cards*

Food Donations 
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar 

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